I missed Tom Shuford’s N&R letter to the editor over the weekend. Shuford makes the point I’ve made once or twice:

It’s good news that Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes is applying to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enable selected officers to be trained to identify illegal aliens.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph was the first local law officer in the eastern United States to take advantage of a provision, 287(g), of 1996 immigration legislation that makes such training possible.

Sheriff Pendergraph described some effects of 287(g) training in a March interview on NPR’s “Charlotte Talks”:

It greatly reduced incidence of illegal immigrant gang activity. “The word on the street is that illegal immigrant gangs are kind of laying low because they are very aware of our ability here to identify illegal immigrants and deport you. … They don’t want to get hooked up on some traffic charge and be deported.”

It lowered risks of drunken driving: “A fifth of the 2,600 people arrested and marked for deportation as of August were arrested for drunk driving. … When you take those people out of the country, there is a good chance that you’re removing someone from our community that might run into you head-on tonight — or your family.”

Let’s hope the federal government provides funding to meet burgeoning demand for 287(g) training.